DETROIT -- Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. have agreed to develop hybrid technology for large pickups and SUVs as U.S. regulators work out details of tougher fuel economy requirements for pickups starting in 2020.
They also agreed to work together on telematics and other in-vehicle Internet-based services.
Ford's F-series trucks are the nation's best-selling full-sized pickups; Toyota is the world's biggest marketer of hybrids, with sales of 3.3 million since introducing the Prius in 1997.
The automakers aim to develop a hybrid system for use in Ford and Toyota rear-wheel-drive SUVs and pickups later this decade.
Ford and Toyota expect the partnership to cut costs and speed hybrid technology to the marketplace.
The companies plan to develop components as partners but integrate the hybrid system separately in trucks and SUVs.
The automakers did not say which models will be involved or release financial details.
This is the first time Toyota and Ford have collaborated on product development.
General Motors, DaimlerChrysler and BMW jointly developed a hybrid system for pickups and large SUVs that went on sale in 2008, but vehicles with the system have sold poorly because of high prices and low towing capacity.
The Ford and Toyota product development teams first met in April, said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of global product development.
Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota's executive vice president of r&d, said the companies are eager to start.
The next step is a feasibility study to determine the scope of the collaboration.
The companies expect to sign a formal agreement next year and to begin development work then.
By that time it should be clear how the Obama administration will complete its plan to increase corporate average fuel economy standards to 54.5 mpg (4.3 liters per 100km) by the 2025 model year.